150507_CDP Research Update

CDP Research Update -- May 7, 2015
What’s Here:
Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the U.S. Military:
Volume 2. Estimates for Department of Defense Service Members from the 2014 RAND
Military Workplace Study (RAND)
Snapshot Review of Sexual Assault Report Files at the Four Largest U.S. Military Bases
in 2013 (Senator Kirsten Gillibrand)
Measuring the Quality of Care for Psychological Health Conditions in the Military Health
System: Candidate Quality Measures for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Major
Depressive Disorder
Combat & Operational Stress Research Quarterly (Volume 7, Number 2; Spring 2015)
Clinician's Trauma Update-Online (National Center for PTSD, April 2015)
Technology Use and Interest in Computerized Psychotherapy: A Survey of Veterans in
Treatment for Substance Use Disorders.
Smoking Status and Pain Intensity Among OEF/OIF/OND Veterans.
Assessment of dissociation among combat-exposed soldiers with and without
posttraumatic stress disorder.
Understanding the role of dysfunctional post-trauma cognitions in the co-occurrence of
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Two trauma samples.
Legitimizing the Wound: Mapping the Military's Diagnostic Discourse of Traumatic Brain
The state of Veterans Affairs sleep medicine programs: 2012 inventory results.
Sleep in Traumatic Brain Injury.
Persistent Sleep Disturbances Independently Predict Poorer Functional and Social
Outcomes 1 Year After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.
Combat exposure, social relationships, and subjective well-being among middle-aged
and older Veterans.
Socioeconomic Status and Mental Health Service Use Among National Guard Soldiers.
Changes in Suicide Mortality for Veterans and Nonveterans by Gender and History of
VHA Service Use, 2000–2010.
Memory and Narrative of Traumatic Events: A Literature Review.
Posttraumatic stress disorder's dysphoria dimension And Relations with Generalized
Anxiety Disorder Symptoms.
Psychiatric and Psychological Perspectives on Chronic Pain.
Treating suicidal risk in a post-healthcare reform era.
Implementing a Web-Based Intervention to Train Community Clinicians in an EvidenceBased Psychotherapy: A Pilot Study.
Assessment of the Healthcare Needs and Barriers to VA Use Experienced by Women
Veterans: Findings From the National Survey of Women Veterans.
Web-based intervention improves social acknowledgement and disclosure of trauma,
leading to a reduction in posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms.
Minds “At Attention”: Mindfulness Training Curbs Attentional Lapses in Military Cohorts.
Links of Interest
Resource of the Week: Veteran Vision Project
Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the U.S. Military
Volume 2. Estimates for Department of Defense Service Members from the 2014 RAND
Military Workplace Study
Edited by Andrew R. Morral, Kristie L. Gore, Terry L. Schell
Contributors: Barbara Bicksler, Coreen Farris, Bonnie Ghosh-Dastidar, Lisa H. Jaycox, Dean
Kilpatrick, Stephan Kistler, Amy Street, Terri Tanielian, Kayla M. Williams
RAND Corporation, 2015
In early 2014, the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office
asked the RAND National Defense Research Institute to conduct an independent assessment of
the rates of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination in the military — an
assessment last conducted in 2012 by the Department of Defense using the Workplace and
Gender Relations Survey of Active Duty Members. The resulting RAND Military Workplace
Study invited close to 560,000 U.S. service members to participate in a survey fielded in August
and September of 2014. This volume presents results from this survey for active- and reservecomponent service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. It includes
estimates of the number of service members who experienced sexual assault, sexual
harassment, or gender discrimination in the past year, as well as detailed information about the
characteristics of those incidents, decisions to report, and experiences with response and legal
systems for both male and female service members. It also describes service members' beliefs
and attitudes about these problems.
Snapshot Review of Sexual Assault Report Files at the Four Largest U.S. Military Bases
in 2013
Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
May 2015
On February 10, 2014, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, in her oversight role as Chairman of the
Personnel Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee, requested the Department
of Defense (DoD) provide her office with files pertaining to the investigation and adjudication of
sexual assault cases, from 2009 to 2013, at the largest U.S. base for each military service.
These installations are the Army’s Fort Hood in Texas, Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, Marine
Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
On December 15, 2014, 308 days after the initial request, the Department of Defense provided
107 redacted sexual assault case files from the year 2013. Senator Gillibrand had requested “all
reports and allegations of rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault, sex in the barracks, adultery
and attempts, conspiracies, or solicitations to commit these crimes” for the last five years.
Despite two separate assurances from then-Secretary of Defense Hagel directly to Senator
Gillibrand that all files would expeditiously be provided, the DoD reluctantly agreed to provide
just one year’s worth of files after then Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin
intervened. The larger request remains unfulfilled. This refusal from the DoD to provide basic
information pertaining to sexual violence and military justice to the former Personnel
Subcommittee chair with oversight duties calls into question the Department’s commitment to
transparency and getting to the root of the problem.
While the case files do shed some light on how the military has dealt with the scourge of sexual
assault on bases, with many findings consistent with the Associated Press’s accounts of sexual
assaults at American military bases in Japan, it is important to note that the files are redacted,
incomplete, and often do not contain all relevant data pertaining to the cases.
Our review of the 107 case files provided by the Department of Defense sheds further light on
the true scope of sexual violence in military communities, including two large but overlooked
segments of the military population – military spouses, and civilian women living near military
bases – that are not counted in the DoD’s surveys on sexual assault prevalence. The
documents analyzed by our office suggest that civilians (including spouses) are especially
vulnerable, and that the military justice system continues to struggle to provide justice.
Measuring the Quality of Care for Psychological Health Conditions in the Military Health
System: Candidate Quality Measures for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Major
Depressive Disorder
Kimberly A. Hepner, Carol P. Roth, Coreen Farris, Elizabeth M. Sloss, Grant R. Martsolf, Harold
Alan Pincus, Katherine E. Watkins, Caroline Epley, Daniel Mandel, Susan D. Hosek, Carrie M.
RAND Corporation, 2015
In recent years, the number of U.S. service members treated for psychological health conditions
has increased substantially. In particular, at least two psychological health conditions —
posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) — have become
more common, with prevalence estimates up to 20 percent for PTSD and 37 percent for MDD.
Delivering quality care to service members with these conditions is a high-priority goal for the
military health system (MHS). Meeting this goal requires understanding the extent to which the
care the MHS provides is consistent with evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and its own
standards for quality. To better understand these issues, RAND Corporation researchers
developed a framework to identify and classify a set of measures for monitoring the quality of
care provided by the MHS for PTSD and MDD. The goal of this project was to identify, develop,
and describe a set of candidate quality measures to assess care for PTSD and MDD. To
accomplish this goal, the authors performed two tasks: (1) developed a conceptual framework
for assessing the quality of care for psychological health conditions and (2) identified a
candidate set of measures for monitoring, assessing, and improving the quality of care for PTSD
and MDD. This document describes their research approach and the candidate measure sets
for PTSD and MDD that they identified. The current task did not include implementation
planning but provides the foundation for future RAND work to pilot a subset of these measures.
Combat & Operational Stress Research Quarterly
Volume 7, Number 2; Spring 2015
Naval Center for Combat & Operational Stress Control
The Combat & Operational Stress Research Quarterly is a compilation of recent studies on
combat and operational stress, including relevant findings on the etiology, course and treatment
of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The Research Quarterly facilitates translational research by providing busy clinicians with up-todate findings, with the potential to guide and inform evidence-based treatment.
Clinician's Trauma Update-Online
National Center for PTSD (VA)
Issue 9/2, April 2015
Two New Systematic Reviews
● Telehealth for PTSD
● Psychotherapy for PTSD/SUD
● Does interpersonal therapy measure up to PE?
● A strategy to increase telehealth delivery of evidence-based psychotherapy for PTSD
● Motivational strategies and peer support enhance online training in exposure therapy
● Innovative approaches to PTSD care
● For older Veterans, odds of getting PTSD treatment decreases with age
● Barriers to care and treatment preferences among OEF/OIF Veterans
Technology Use and Interest in Computerized Psychotherapy: A Survey of Veterans in
Treatment for Substance Use Disorders.
Hermes Eric D.A., Tsai Jack, and Rosenheck Robert
Telemedicine and e-Health
Online Ahead of Print: April 28, 2015
This study examined interest in computerized psychotherapies (CPTs) and its relation to use of
information technology among individuals receiving Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
outpatient treatment.
Materials and Methods:
Veterans receiving treatment in a VHA substance use disorder outpatient clinic completed a
self-report questionnaire. The survey addressed recent experience using information technology
and potential interest in using CPTs for symptoms/functional problems associated with
substance use and mental health disorders. Demographic, diagnostic, and information
technology use data were compared between those expressing interest in CPT and those not
expressing an interest, as well as with nationally representative veteran data from the 2010
National Survey of Veterans (NSV).
Of 151 respondents, 82% were interested in CPT for at least one problem, and 60% were
interested for more than one. The most commonly selected CPTs were for substance use
(46%), depression (45%), problem solving (43%), and insomnia (42%). None of the 23
measures of information technology use was associated with interest in CPTs. Compared with
respondents not interested in any CPTs, those interested in CPT were older (t150=2.1,
p=0.042) and more likely to be African American [χ2(1)=8.8, p=0.032], to have reported a drug
use disorder [χ2(1)=4.2, p=0.041], and to have reported more than one substance use or
psychiatric disorder [χ2(1)=8.5, p=0.014]. The majority of respondents reported use of Internet
and e-mail (65% and 64%, respectively), proportions comparable to respondents to the NSV.
Among veterans receiving outpatient substance use treatment, interest in CPT is high and
unrelated to information technology use. Efforts to implement CPTs may interest this population.
Smoking Status and Pain Intensity Among OEF/OIF/OND Veterans.
Volkman, J. E., DeRycke, E. C., Driscoll, M. A., Becker, W. C., Brandt, C. A., Mattocks, K. M.,
Haskell, S. G., Bathulapalli, H., Goulet, J. L. and Bastian, L. A.
Article first published online: 27 APR 2015
DOI: 10.1111/pme.12753
Pain and smoking are highly prevalent among Veterans. Studies in non-Veteran populations
have reported higher pain intensity among current smokers compared with nonsmokers and
former smokers. We examined the association of smoking status with reported pain intensity
among Veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn
The sample consisted of OEF/OIF/OND Veterans who had at least one visit to Veterans Affairs
(2001–2012) with information in the electronic medical record for concurrent smoking status
and pain intensity. The primary outcome measure was current pain intensity, categorized as
none to mild (0–3); moderate (4–6); or severe (≥7); based on a self-reported 11-point pain
numerical rating scale. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to assess the
association of current smoking status with moderate to severe (≥4) pain intensity, controlling
for potential confounders.
Overall, 50,988 women and 355,966 men Veterans were examined. The sample mean age was
30 years; 66.3% reported none to mild pain; 19.8% moderate pain; and 13.9% severe pain; 37%
were current smokers and 16% former smokers. Results indicated that current smoking [odds
ratio (OR) = 1.29 (95% confidence intervals (CI) = 1.27–1.31)] and former smoking [OR = 1.02
(95% CI = 1.01–1.05)] were associated with moderate to severe pain intensity, controlling for
age, service-connected disability, gender, obesity, substance abuse, mood disorders, and Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder.
We found an association between current smoking and pain intensity. This effect was
attenuated in former smokers. Our study highlights the importance of understanding reported
pain intensity in OEF/OIF/OND Veterans who continue to smoke.
Assessment of dissociation among combat-exposed soldiers with and without
posttraumatic stress disorder.
Barbaros Özdemir, Cemil Celik and Taner Oznur
European Journal of Psychotraumatology
Vol 6 (2015)
Dissociation is a disruption of and/or discontinuity in the normal, subjective integration of one or
more aspects of psychological functioning, including memory, identity, consciousness,
perception, and motor control. A limited number of studies investigated combat-related
The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between dissociative symptoms
and combat-related trauma.
This study included 184 individuals, including 84 patients who were exposed to combat and
diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Group I), 50 subjects who were exposed
to combat but were not diagnosed with PTSD (Group II), and 50 healthy subjects without
combat exposure (Group III). The participants were evaluated using the Dissociative
Experiences Scale (DES) to determine their total and sub-factor (i.e., amnesia,
depersonalization/derealization, and absorption) dissociative symptom levels. In addition, Group
I and Group II were compared with respect to the relationship between physical injury and DES
The mean DES scores (i.e., total and sub-factors) of Group I were higher than those of Group II
(p<0.001), and Group II's mean DES scores (i.e., total and sub-factors) were higher than those
of Group III (p<0.001). Similarly, the number of subjects with high total DES scores (i.e.,>30)
was highest in Group I, followed by Group II and Group III. When we compared combatexposed subjects with high total DES scores, Group I had higher scores than Group II. In
contrast, no relationship between the presence of bodily injury and total DES scores could be
demonstrated. In addition, our results demonstrated that high depersonalization/derealization
factor scores were correlated with bodily injury in PTSD patients. A similar relationship was
found between high absorption factor scores and bodily injury for Group II.
Our results demonstrated that the level of dissociation was significantly higher in subjects with
combat-related PTSD than in subjects without combat-related PTSD. In addition, combatexposed subjects without PTSD also had higher dissociation levels than healthy subjects
without combat experience.
Understanding the role of dysfunctional post-trauma cognitions in the co-occurrence of
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Two trauma samples.
J.Gayle Beck, Judiann M. Jones, Catherine M. Reich, Matthew J. Woodward, Meghan W. Cody
Behaviour Research and Therapy
Available online 28 April 2015
This report focuses on the co-occurrence of PTSD-GAD and examines a factor that could
operate to maintain both conditions, specifically negative post-trauma cognitions about the self,
the world, and self-blame. Two separate help-seeking samples were examined: (a) a mixed
gender sample of 301 individuals who had experienced a serious motor vehicle accident (MVA),
a single incident, non-interpersonal trauma; and (b) a sample of 157 women who had
experienced intimate partner violence (IPV), a recurrent, interpersonal trauma. When examined
at the diagnostic level, posttraumatic cognitions for one diagnosis did not vary as a function of
whether the other diagnosis was present. In the MVA sample, both diagnosed PTSD and GAD
were associated with elevations in negative thoughts about the self. Diagnosed GAD was also
significantly associated with negative thoughts about the world. In the IPV sample, diagnosed
PTSD was associated with elevations in negative thoughts about the self only. When
continuously measured PTSD and GAD were examined, results indicated that negative
thoughts about the self showed significant simultaneous associations with PTSD and GAD in
both samples. In the MVA sample, negative thoughts about the world and self-blame showed
significant associations with PTSD but not with GAD. In the IPV sample, negative thoughts
about the world and self-blame were not significantly associated with either PTSD or GAD.
Results are discussed in light of current treatment models for these conditions, with emphasis
on the potential for addressing transdiagnostic processes as a more effective approach to
treating comorbid conditions following trauma.
Legitimizing the Wound: Mapping the Military's Diagnostic Discourse of Traumatic Brain
Tom Lindsley
Technical Communication Quarterly
Accepted author version posted online: 29 Apr 2015
Following reports spanning from the beginning of the OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom) and
OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) conflicts to the early 2010s, this rhetorical investigation analyzes
the U.S. military's diagnostic practices used to identify mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in
blast-affected troops. Considering the notion of “wound/injury” as a possible boundary object,
this paper discusses how the conceptual framing of “invisible” injuries may produce interruptions
of distrust that inhibit effective diagnosis.
The state of Veterans Affairs sleep medicine programs: 2012 inventory results.
Kathleen Sarmiento, John Rossettie, Carl Stepnowsky, Charles Atwood, Alan Calvitti, the VA
Sleep Network
Sleep and Breathing
April 2015
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) represents one of the largest integrated health-care
systems in the country. In 2012, the Veterans Affairs Sleep Network (VASN) sought to identify
available sleep resources at VA medical centers (VAMCs) across the country through a national
sleep inventory.
The sleep inventory was administered at the annual 2012 VA Sleep Practitioners meeting and
by email to sleep contacts at each VAMC. National prosthetics contacts were used to identify
personnel at VAMCs without established sleep programs. Follow-up emails and telephone calls
were made through March 2013.
One hundred eleven VA medical centers were included for analysis. Thirty-nine programs did
not respond, and 10 were considered “satellites,” referring all sleep services to a larger
neighboring VAMC. Sleep programs were stratified based on extent of services offered (i.e., inlab and home testing, sleep specialty clinics, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i)):
28 % were complex sleep programs (CSPs), 46 % were intermediate (ISPs), 9 % were standard
(SSPs), and 17 % offered no formal sleep services. Overall, 138,175 clinic visits and 90,904
sleep testing encounters were provided in fiscal year 2011 by 112.1 physicians and clinical
psychologists, 100.4 sleep technologists, and 115.3 respiratory therapists. More than half of all
programs had home testing and CBT-i programs, and 26 % utilized sleep telehealth.
The 2012 VA sleep inventory suggests considerable variability in sleep services within the VA.
Demand for sleep services is high, with programs using home testing, sleep telehealth, and a
growing number of mid-level providers to improve access to care.
Sleep in Traumatic Brain Injury.
James Vermaelen, Patrick Greiffenstein, Bennett P. deBoisblanc
Critical Care Clinics
Available online 29 April 2015
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common indication for ICU admission.
Disruptions in sleep architecture are nearly ubiquitous in this population.
The most commonly diagnosed sleep disturbances are insomnias, hypersomnias, and
sleep-disordered breathing.
The diagnosis of a sleep disturbance requires appropriate testing of patients for whom
there is a high index of suspicion.
Persistent Sleep Disturbances Independently Predict Poorer Functional and Social
Outcomes 1 Year After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.
Chan, Lai Gwen MRCP, MRCPsych; Feinstein, Anthony MPhil, PhD, FRCP
Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation:
Post Author Corrections: April 29, 2015
doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000119
To investigate the effect of sleep disturbances on functional and social outcomes after mild
traumatic brain injury.
Outpatient traumatic brain injury clinic in a tertiary trauma center.
A total of 374 mild traumatic brain injury patients were assessed within 3 months of injury and
followed up every 3 months for 1 year.
Analysis of a historical cohort in a naturalistic clinical setting.
Main measures:
At each visit, symptoms of concussion and psychological distress and indices of functional and
social outcomes were measured with the Rivermead Postconcussion Questionnaire, 28-item
General Health Questionnaire, and Rivermead Head Injury Follow-up Questionnaire,
respectively. Changes in outcome scores over time were explored using repeated measures
analysis of variance and compared between subjects with persistent (SD) and recovered (SR)
sleep disturbances. Predictors of functional/social outcome were determined using linear
The percentages of subjects reporting sleep disturbances at each time point were 71.9%,
57.2%, 55.1%, and 53.7%, respectively. For functional and social outcomes, significant effects
of time (F3,315 = 9.54; P < .001), group (SD vs SR) F1,317 = 5.32; P = .022, and time X group
interaction F3,315 = 4.14; P = .007 were found. Persistent sleep disturbance (P = 0.011) and
higher symptom burden at 6 months postinjury (P < .0001) were independent predictors of
poorer outcome.
Sleep disturbance, independent of psychological distress, is an important prognostic factor of
functional and social outcomes after mild traumatic brain injury.
Copyright (C) 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
Combat exposure, social relationships, and subjective well-being among middle-aged
and older Veterans.
Aging & Mental Health
Published online: 30 Apr 2015
This study described the association of subjective well-being with combat exposure and social
relationships among middle-aged and older Veteran men in the USA. The stress-buffering
hypothesis, which predicts social relationships may moderate the association between combat
exposure and subjective well-being, was also examined.
Data from the 2008 Health and Retirement Study (N = 2961) were used to estimate logistic
regression models, focusing on three measures of subjective well-being: depression, life
satisfaction, and self-reported health.
In the fully adjusted models, there were no statistically significant relationships between combat
exposure and the three indicators of subjective well-being. However, compared to Veterans who
had lower scores on the social relationship index, Veterans who had higher scores were less
likely to be depressed and less likely to report poor or fair health. Veterans who had higher
scores on the social relationships index reported higher levels of life satisfaction than those
Veterans who had lower scores. There was no evidence for a social relationships buffering
The results of this study demonstrated that combat exposure did not have a long-term
relationship with subjective well-being. Longitudinal research designs with more comprehensive
indicators of combat exposure may help researchers better understand some of the underlying
complexity of this relationship. Complementary research with samples of women Veterans, as
well as samples of Hispanic, and non-Black, non-White Veterans, is also needed.
Socioeconomic Status and Mental Health Service Use Among National Guard Soldiers.
Rebecca K. Sripada, Ph.D.; Sarah K. H. Richards, L.M.S.W.; Sheila A. M. Rauch, Ph.D.;
Heather M. Walters, M.S.; Dara Ganoczy, M.P.H.; Kipling M. Bohnert, Ph.D.; Lisa A. Gorman,
Ph.D.; Michelle Kees, Ph.D.; Adrian J. Blow, Ph.D.; Marcia Valenstein, M.D., M.S.
Psychiatric Services
Convergent evidence suggests that low socioeconomic status (SES) may be related to reduced
mental health service use. However, this relationship has not been tested in the National Guard
(NG) population, in which the prevalence of mental health symptoms is high.
Surveys were completed by 1,262 NG soldiers. SES was measured by education and income.
Adjusted multivariable regression models assessed associations between SES, overall service
use, and use of specific types of services.
SES was not associated with overall use but was associated with use of certain types of
services. Higher SES was associated with lower likelihood of psychotropic medication use (odds
ratio=.83, 95% confidence interval=.72–.96), and higher SES strengthened the positive
relationship between PTSD and use of individual therapy.
Higher SES may increase the use of individual therapy among soldiers with PTSD. Barriers to
care among individuals with low SES merit continued attention and outreach efforts.
Changes in Suicide Mortality for Veterans and Nonveterans by Gender and History of
VHA Service Use, 2000–2010.
Claire A. Hoffmire, Ph.D.; Janet E. Kemp, R.N., Ph.D.; Robert M. Bossarte, Ph.D.
Psychiatric Services
Veterans are believed to be at high risk of suicide. However, research comparing suicide rates
between veterans and nonveterans is limited, and even less is known regarding differences by
history of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) service use. This study directly compared
veteran and nonveteran suicide risk while for the first time differentiating veterans by VHA
service use.
The cross-sectional study analyzed data from 173,969 adult suicide decedents from 23 states
(2000–2010) included in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs suicide data archive. Annual
standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were computed for veterans compared with nonveterans
and for veterans who used VHA services compared with veterans who did not, overall and
separately for males and females.
After the analysis controlled for age and gender differences, the number of observed veteran
suicides was approximately 20% higher than expected in 2000 (SMR=1.19, 95% confidence
interval [CI]=1.10–1.28), and this increased to 60% higher by 2010 (SMR=1.63, CI=1.58–1.68).
The elevated risk for female veterans (2010 SMR=5.89) was higher than that observed for male
veterans (2010 SMR=1.54). Trends for non–VHA-utilizing veterans mirrored those of the
veteran population as a whole, and the SMR for VHA-utilizing veterans declined. Since 2003,
the number of suicides among VHA-utilizing veterans was less than expected when compared
directly with the suicide rate among non–VHA-utilizing veterans.
Veterans are members of the community and, as such, are an important part of observed
increases in U.S. suicide rates. Not all veterans are at equal or increasing risk of suicide,
however. VHA-utilizing veterans appear to have declining absolute and relative suicide rates.
Memory and Narrative of Traumatic Events: A Literature Review.
Crespo, María; Fernández-Lansac, Violeta
Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Apr 27 , 2015
This study presents a literature review of 22 studies published since 2004 that use linguistic
procedures to evaluate narratives by persons who had suffered any traumatic event. The aim is
to analyze the features of traumatic memories and, thus, how individuals construct and integrate
their recall of what happened with other autobiographical memories. It uses cognitive theoretical
models of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and their hypotheses about trauma memories
as a framework. Findings reveal that trauma narratives are dominated by sensorial/perceptual
and emotional details. The study of other narrative aspects (i.e., fragmentation, length, temporal
context, and references to self) provides heterogeneous results. Results are discussed in light
of the current state of PTSD research, exploring the principal hypotheses that have been
proposed in cognitive theories to explain clinical findings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015
APA, all rights reserved)
Posttraumatic stress disorder's dysphoria dimension And Relations with Generalized
Anxiety Disorder Symptoms.
Tory A. Durham, Jon D. Elhai, Thomas H. Fine, Marijo Tamburrino, Gregory Cohen, Edwin
Shirley, Philip K. Chan, Israel Liberzon, Sandro Galea, Joseph R. Calabrese
Psychiatry Research
Available online 30 April 2015
The present study investigated symptom relations between two highly comorbid disorders posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) – by exploring
their underlying dimensions. Based on theory and prior empirical research it was expected that
the dysphoria factor of PTSD would be more highly related to GAD. As part of a longitudinal
project of mental health among Ohio National Guard Soldiers, 1266 subjects were administered
the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 scale
(GAD-7). Confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) were conducted to examine two models of PTSD
and to determine which PTSD factors were more related to the GAD factor. The results indicate
that the GAD factor was significantly more highly correlated with PTSD's dysphoria factor than
with all other PTSD factors, including PTSD's reexperiencing factor, avoidance factor, and
hyperarousal factor. Results indicate GAD was not significantly more highly correlated with
numbing than most other factors of PTSD. The results are consistent with prior research.
Implications of the results are discussed in regards to PTSD in DSM-5, comorbidity and
diagnostic specificity.
Psychiatric and Psychological Perspectives on Chronic Pain.
Catherine Q. Howe, James P. Robinson, Mark D. Sullivan
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America
Volume 26, Issue 2, May 2015, Pages 283–300
Physiatrists who treat patients with chronic pain frequently request assistance from mental
health practitioners. The 2 types of professionals who typically evaluate these patients are
psychiatrists and clinical psychologists. The present article describes the perspectives taken by
these 2 professional groups and offers recommendations about when to refer to a psychiatrist
versus a psychologist.
Treating suicidal risk in a post-healthcare reform era.
David A Jobes , Maureen Elizabeth Bowers
Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research
Vol. 7 Iss: 3
This article is intended to fully consider the potential changes in clinical suicide prevention that
may evolve after the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). We argue
that it is wise to anticipate demand for suicide specific evidence based treatments (EBTs)
moving forward. We outline current best practices in clinical suicide prevention, and describe
the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) as an example of how a
suicide focused EBT can adapt to some predicted changes.
This conceptual paper first presents an overview of the main effects of ACA within the
behavioral health care system. Next, we review contemporary approaches to the treatment of
suicidal patients, as well as current treatment limitations. We present CAMS as a model of a
suicide focused EBT that holds promise for use in the post-ACA era. To close, we discuss
anticipated changes in suicide treatment and illustrate that CAMS is adaptable to these
ACA mandates several changes: implementation of EBTs, better preventative care, integrated
treatment models, and improved healthcare administration. A central effect of ACA in behavioral
health care is the increased use of EBTs. Therefore effective EBTs for suicide prevention are
Anticipating how ACA will affect clinical suicide prevention is necessary, as it is historically a
very challenging area of treatment within behavioral health care and a significant public health
concern. This paper highlights the importance of the use suicide-specific EBTs.
Implementing a Web-Based Intervention to Train Community Clinicians in an EvidenceBased Psychotherapy: A Pilot Study.
Bradley D. Stein, Karen L. Celedonia, Holly A. Swartz, Melissa E. DeRosier, Mark J. Sorbero,
Rayni A. Brindley, Rachel M. Burns, Andrew W. Dick, and Ellen Frank
Psychiatric Services
Accepted: January 22, 2015
The authors conducted a feasibility assessment of online training plus an online learning
collaborative to support implementation of an evidence-based psychosocial treatment in a
community mental health system.
Two mental health centers were randomly allocated to in-person training with local supervision,
and three were assigned to online training plus an online learning collaborative supported by
expert clinicians. Participants (N=36) were clinicians interested in interpersonal and social
rhythm therapy (IPSRT), an evidence-based psychotherapy for bipolar disorder. After training,
136 patients reported monthly on the extent to which clinicians used 19 IPSRT techniques.
Clinicians from both training groups increased use of IPSRT techniques. Patients of clinicians
receiving Internet-supported e-learning and of those receiving in-person training reported
comparable clinician use of IPSRT techniques.
Internet-supported e-learning by community clinicians was found to be feasible and led to
uptake of an evidence-based psychotherapy comparable to that by clinicians who received faceto-face training.
Assessment of the Healthcare Needs and Barriers to VA Use Experienced by Women
Veterans: Findings From the National Survey of Women Veterans.
Washington, Donna L. MD, MPH; Farmer, Melissa M. PhD; Mor, Su Sun MPH; Canning, Mark
BA; Yano, Elizabeth M. PhD, MSPH
Medical Care:
April 2015 - Volume 53 - Issue - p S23–S31
doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000312
Access to Care and Rural Health
Prior regional studies of women Veterans identified barriers to Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare
use. However, these studies do not reflect the demographic profile of women Veterans
nationally, recent advances in VA women’s healthcare, and the national context of expanded
healthcare alternatives.
To characterize health, VA perceptions, barriers, healthcare delivery preferences, and reasons
for VA or non-VA healthcare use in a national women Veteran sample.
Methods: Cross-sectional, population-based 2008–2009 National Survey of Women Veterans
VA users had worse physical and mental health than non–VA-only users and healthcare
nonusers. Older women Veterans had worse physical health, whereas younger groups had
worse mental health. Healthcare use was highest for dual users, followed by VA-only users, but
did not differ by age group. Healthcare nonusers were most likely to lack a regular source for
healthcare. Perceptions of VA care quality and sex-appropriateness were highest for VA-only,
followed by dual, then non–VA-only users. VA perceptions were guided by personal experience
for 90% of VA users, versus media or other secondhand sources for 70% of other groups. Non–
VA-only users and healthcare nonusers had more knowledge gaps about VA and
misperceptions about VA eligibility and services; non–VA-only users more likely encountered
VA enrollment barriers.
Many nonusers had healthcare needs that were not met. Positive VA perceptions by women
with first-hand VA experience, contrasted with VA knowledge gaps by those without such
exposure, suggests the need for more education about available VA healthcare services. VA
planning should account for mental health needs and healthcare use by younger women
Web-based intervention improves social acknowledgement and disclosure of trauma,
leading to a reduction in posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms.
Wei Xu, Jianping Wang, Zhiyun Wang, Yifei Li, Wei Yu, Qiuyuan Xie, Li He, and Andreas
Journal of Health Psychology
Published online before print May 1, 2015
doi: 10.1177/1359105315583371
This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of web-based intervention on social
acknowledgement and disclosure of trauma and to examine the mediating effect of the
improvement in social acknowledgement and disclosure of trauma on the reduction of
posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. A randomized controlled trial was used, with 21
participants in a web-based intervention group and 29 participants in a wait-list control group
completing a pre-test and post-test. Results showed that social acknowledgement and
disclosure of trauma improved significantly after 1-month intervention, and this improvement
mediated the reduction in the posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. Implications and
limitations of this study are discussed.
Minds “At Attention”: Mindfulness Training Curbs Attentional Lapses in Military Cohorts.
Jha AP, Morrison AB, Dainer-Best J, Parker S, Rostrup N, Stanley EA
PLoS ONE 10(2): e0116889.
We investigated the impact of mindfulness training (MT) on attentional performance lapses
associated with task-unrelated thought (i.e., mind wandering). Periods of persistent and
intensive demands may compromise attention and increase off-task thinking. Here, we
investigated if MT may mitigate these deleterious effects and promote cognitive resilience in
military cohorts enduring a high-demand interval of predeployment training. To better
understand which aspects of MT programs are most beneficial, three military cohorts were
examined. Two of the three groups were provided MT. One group received an 8-hour, 8-week
variant of Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT) emphasizing engagement in
training exercises (training-focused MT, n = 40), a second group received a didactic-focused
variant emphasizing content regarding stress and resilience (didactic-focused MT, n = 40), and
the third group served as a no-training control (NTC, n = 24). Sustained Attention to Response
Task (SART) performance was indexed in all military groups and a no-training civilian group
(CIV, n = 45) before (T1) and after (T2) the MT course period. Attentional performance
(measured by A’, a sensitivity index) was lower in NTC vs. CIV at T2, suggesting that
performance suffers after enduring a high-demand predeployment interval relative to a similar
time period of civilian life. Yet, there were significantly fewer performance lapses in the military
cohorts receiving MT relative to NTC, with training-focused MT outperforming didactic-focused
MT at T2. From T1 to T2, A’ degraded in NTC and didactic-focused MT but remained stable in
training-focused MT and CIV. In sum, while protracted periods of high-demand military training
may increase attentional performance lapses, practice-focused MT programs akin to trainingfocused MT may bolster attentional performance more than didactic-focused programs. As
such, training-focused MT programs should be further examined in cohorts experiencing
protracted high-demand intervals.
----Links of Interest
How PTSD Can Lead to Sexual Dysfunction
Army morale low despite 6-year, $287M optimism program
National Guard Members Face Challenges In Seeking Help For PTSD
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia Reduces Clinical Pain
Could Mindfulness Therapy Help People With Depression?
Carter: DoD Examines, Uses New Data to Combat Sexual Assault
The dark side of cannabis: Panic attacks, nausea
Study links insomnia to impaired work performance in night shift workers
Health Visits May Offer Chance to Prevent Suicide; Study says many see a doctor before
ending their life
Understanding Moral Injury
Veterans learn to fish to heal
----Resource of the Week: Veteran Vision Project
This is an intriguing, moving, ongoing photo essay that attempts to depict the the transition from
Military member to civilian/Veteran. Photographer Devin Mitchell traveled around the United
States, connected with Veterans, and took two photos of each -- one in civilian clothing and one
in uniform. Using Photoshop, Mitchell combined the two images so that the civilian is shown
looking at his/her former military self in a mirror. The ongoing series of images is also available
on Instagram.
----Shirl Kennedy
Research Editor
Center for Deployment Psychology
[email protected]